An Ebola vaccine has returned a 100% effectiveness result during test trials in Guinea, which can be used to stop the outbreak that has taken lives in Africa by the thousands.
Although the vaccine has yet to undergo regulatory approval, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has already committed $5 million so that the vaccine will be reproduced. Expected reproduction of the Ebola vaccine is 300,000 doses.
The Ebola vaccine was reportedly given to 11,841 citizens, 5,800 of which had contact with Ebola victims previously. After 10 days of observation, it was recorded that the subjects did not develop the virus.
“We were able to estimate the efficacy of the vaccine as being 100 percent in a trial,” said Ira Longini, a biostatistician of the said study. “It’s very unusual to have a vaccine that protects people perfectly.”
“I really believe that now we have a tool which would allow (us) to control a new outbreak of Ebola of the Zaire strain,” said Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, lead author of the study and WHO assistant director-general. “It’s the first vaccine for which efficacy has been shown.”
She added: “While these compelling results come too late for those who lost their lives during West Africa’s Ebola epidemic, they show that when the next Ebola outbreak hits, we will not be defenseless.”
The study was led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is now licensed to Merck & Co., Inc. — a U.S.-based pharmaceutical company.
Reports say that the virus only combats two of the most common strains of Ebola and may come with side effects such as headaches and joint pain.
As of now, Merck will have to seek approval from WHO and the latter will have to seek approval from drug regulators such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the Medicines Agency of Europe.
Ebola virus is characterized by a burning fever, nausea and vomiting, sore throat, muscle pain, fatigue, hiccups, rashes and internal and external bleeding. Some of the countries affected by an Ebola outbreak are Sudan, Uganda, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Guinea.